I have always been curious about the animals that start with the letter Q. It is said that there are more than a dozen of them in the world, but I never really bought it. The more I thought about it the stranger the question seemed. Are there really any animals that start with Q? It turns out the answer is surprising.
While doing the research, I couldn’t believe how many there were and wanted to make a post for my website outlining all of the different animals that start with “Q”. I have also added some interesting facts about each animal.
I think this is the sort of question that people ask when they are bored or want to break the ice with new people. You can start asking this question on a date, at a bar or club, or even get started on your next trivia scuffle! It’s sure to strike up an interesting conversation.
Q is a hard letter to start with for animals, don’t you think? But are you ready to find out some that do start with the letter, Q? Let’s see what we can find!
Up to now, people have only been aware of the giant panda or the black and white bear. However, there is a smaller brown panda native to the Chinese mountains which is the Qinling Panda.
The Qinling mountain range separates the northern from the southern regions of China, mitigating the cold winter weather. It is in this region that 200 to 300 Qinling pandas live.
The bear is one-third the size of the giant panda, it’s brown and white, and its diet is the same as the giant panda.
Due to human development and expansion, the habitats of these cuddly bears are in danger of making them extinct.
China has taken note of this, establishing nearly 70 natural areas to help sustain the bears’ lives. They are listed as vulnerable.
Now extinct, the South African quagga was a subspecies of the African zebra.
It had brown and white stripes only on its head and shoulders, which resembled the zebra. Its hind quarters, which resembled a horse, were solid brown. Its underbelly, tail, and its legs were white.
The only picture of a quagga mare in existence was taken at the London Zoo in 1870. Researchers believe the mare to have been around eight feet long and four feet high. They found that the quagga had a thick winter coat, which it shed in the spring.
The animals formed groups of 30 and more, who then grazed on much of South Africa’s Cape region. They became extinct due to overhunting in the late 1800s.
This tiny bird is found in brush and foliage worldwide.
Its coloring blends in with the foliage in which it hides singly or in pairs. Quail eggs colored brightly.
Both the flesh of the birds and their eggs are considered culinary delicacies.
Although they only fly in short bursts of energy up to 40 mph when startled, they can run through the brush up to 12 mph.
Their vocalizations sound like human words, such as “bob white” and “Chicago.” The male only sings at night.
The birds enjoy dust baths, because they not only clean the feathers but destroy pests.
You’ll find quails living in the underbrush or beneath shrubbery, which protects them from predators.
Also known as the Monk Parakeets or the Quaker Parakeets, these brightly colored and intelligent birds come from Argentina, although they’re found throughout America as well.
Its feathers are bright green with a whitish breast and wingtips of bright blue.
You would expect to find such pretty parrots in rainforests deep in Argentina and other parts of South America, but they’ve been spotted in Texas, Oregon, Illinois, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, to name just a few states.
The little guys can adapt to cold weather while finding the berries, seeds, and grasses where they can find them.
They’re very social little birds, bonding with each other as well as with their human keepers. They can get quite depressed if they’re separated from either.
It might sound strange, but quaker parrots do love eating pasta. These parrots are a pasta-loving bunch, and they’re not afraid to show it!
More commonly known as a cockatiel, this bird is native to Australia, although it’s also found in North America.
Brightly colored, the quarrion or cockatiel is largely gray with spots of white and yellow on its face. Bright orange round spots appear on its cheeks. A bright green plume appears on its head.
Female quarrions are generally white with some yellow on their faces, orange on their cheeks, and a yellow plume on their heads.
Quarrion or cockatiels live in the woods around water sources. They can be found in farmland, the savanna, orchards, parks, and in home gardens. They flock in large numbers in trees and on power lines.
They also fly in large numbers seeking food. They sleep in the tops of trees at night and wake at dawn to eat.
You’ll find these birds near water at all times, but they eat berries, grains, fruits, and garden plants like vegetables in home gardens.
They aren’t considered endangered at this time, although their numbers are allowed to be thinned out by farmers due to their eating crops.
The name of this animal comes from its ability to outrun other breeds of horse in a quarter-mile run.
Its beginnings occurred in the mid-1600s in America. An English thoroughbred was mated with a native horse from America.
The Janus is one of the most famous of these early imports. Janus was an Arabian whose foal was stocky, small, and quite fast. It could race at speeds up to 40 mph.
American racecourses were shorter than English courses, often simply a straightaway on a road or a bit of pasture. English thoroughbreds were used to the formal race courses at home, and often lost to the more swift and hardy quarter horse.
As time went by, thoroughbreds became established in the New World, with the new quarter horses being listed as studs.
When western expansion came, the new quarter horse was bred with wild western ponies. What resulted were horses with an affinity for rounding up cattle quickly and efficiently.
Today, look for quarter horses riding around barrels in rodeos or in formal dressage or jumping at horse shows.
This little guy is part of the rodent family. Its head and nose are shaped much like a bird’s beak, with a squat body reddish-brown to black in color and a long rodent-like tail.
These animals live at high altitudes in the cloud forest of the Andes Mountains in Bolivia.
The animals are carnivores who eat reptiles and insects. Cats and eagles consider them dinner.
Due to its habitat being annihilated, the rodent is endangered. There are no protected areas in which it can live, added to the fact that there aren’t many of them.
Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing Butterfly
Although not strictly an animal, this thing of beauty does begin with the letter “q.” It’s found only in certain parts of Papua New Guinea, an island to the north of Australia.
This scarce butterfly is named for England’s Queen Alexandra, and it’s the largest butterfly in the world.
The female butterfly has brown wings with white spots and red on the thorax. The male features blue-green, not so round wings and blue-green undersides, both with a black stripe. Both males and females have bright yellow stomachs.
Due to deforestation and human development, this most beautiful butterfly is listed as endangered.
Queen Of Sheba’s Gazelle
A gazelle is a deer-like creature, with long horns curving back over its neck. It’s a swift animal. The Queen of Sheba’s gazelle is classified as an antelope, a wild, deer-like animal.
It was found in the Yemeni hills and mountains, where it munched on leaves, twigs, grasses, and foliage. Interestingly, the animal didn’t depend on water. It moves away from water sources when other animals move toward it.
The animal hasn’t been seen since the mid-1900s when it was believed that the army hunted it to extinction to be used as food.
Also known as Queensland blue or blue heeler, the Australian cattle dog is descended from Australia’s wild dog called a dingo.
Compact, heavily muscled, and extremely intelligent, the Queensland heeler is born with white fur that turns a speckled shade of blue later on.
The animal is known for its ability to herd cattle and sheep, hunt and chase other animals. It needs minimal direction to do its job properly. It is, however, easily bored and can get up to mischief when it’s bored.
A highly effective watchdog, the Queensland heeler is good with people and children, playful and fun. Strangers aren’t a good idea, though, but this otherwise social dog makes a great pet as well as a working dog.
Queensland Rat Kangaroos
A cross between your basic rat and a kangaroo, this little fellow lives in the tropical rainforests of northern Queensland.
He hops around like a kangaroo, but runs on all four feet.
They build their nests using twigs, leaves, and lichens. They’re solitary animals, but have been known to eat in groups of two to three.
The rats eat insects, worms, roots, and fruits, and seeds. Although hunted by wild cats and dogs, the clearing of the rainforest habitats poses a threat to their longevity.
As of now, they’re not on any endangered list, but further development of their habitat could put them on such a list.
Queensland Ring-Tail Possum
You wouldn’t ordinarily think to cuddle an Australian possum, but the little guys are too cute not to cuddle.
They have huge brown eyes, to better take in everything surrounding them in the night. They’re about the size of a cat, with brownish fur, stripes on their tails, and a whitish tail end.
They’re found in thick brush, vegetation around water sources, in parks, and even in home gardens. The possums don’t mind cities, although they do mind the dogs and cats that prey upon them.
They nest in basketball-sized combinations of twigs, bark, and ferns of bottlebrush trees, mango trees, and palm trees.
Being herbivores, these possums feed mostly on leaves and vegetation.
They are not listed as threatened or nearing extinction.
Queensland Tube-Nosed Fruit Bat
Bats are interesting creatures, with the face and ears of a cat, some have the teeth of a human, and all of them have wings attached to arms and leg-like extensions that look like spider legs.
The “tube” part of the Queensland Tube-nosed fruit bat name refers to its protruding nostrils.
They’re brownish furry creatures with yellow and green spots on their faces, ears, and wings. The bulging eyes and nostrils identify them as separate from other types of bats.
As their name suggests, they eat fruit and the leaves growing in the rainforests in which they prefer to live.
As long as they stay in the rainforests, these bats aren’t endangered. However, if they venture close to cities, the barbed wire fences could be their undoing.
A songbird found south of the Sahara in Southern Africa, this bird is brown with a cream breast.
The male is more flamboyantly colored than the plainer female, with a black face, red beak, and orange plume. The female quelea is simply brown and cream.
The birds feed on seeds, which means that growers of grains attract the destructive birds. There are several billion of them, and they roost in trees. The sheer numbers of them break tree branches all over South Africa.
As a result of the grain-eating and branch breaking, farmers have taken to dynamiting large numbers of them, since poisons and other control methods failed to work.
In no way are these birds considered endangered.
Queretaro Pocket Gopher
Known to exist only in the Queretaro province or the state of Mexico, these gophers are smaller than ordinary gophers.
They’re brown-gray with some red fur. They have cheek pouches and protruding buck teeth like any gopher.
They prefer to live in pine or oak forests, where they dig their tunnels less than a foot below the ground. These tunnels usually only hold one gopher, and they have dozens of branches off the main tunnel.
Queretaro gophers sleep all day curled into a ball. When they are awake, they eat like there will be no tomorrow. They eat carrots, lettuce, corn, potatoes, alfalfa, as well as roots and twigs.
When they dig their tunnels, the soil becomes aerated, which is good for growing crops. However, the gophers then eat the crops, which makes the farmers try to wipe them out.
They’re listed as seriously endangered.
Also known as the northern pintail duck or the teal, this most numerous duck is found all around the world. A plump duck with an impressive wingspan and long, elegant neck feeds in open fields near water.
They dip their heads underwater to catch their dinner with their tail feathers up in the air. They also feed on seeds and insects.
The querquedule or pintail duck winters in the harshness of northern Canada, where they lay their eggs and teach their young to hunt and to fly.
They fly south for the spring, summer, and fall when they mate. The ducks mate for life and nest, forage, and fly together.
Brightly colored birds are a joy to behold. The quetzal is found from Mexico down through Central America and into South America.
It’s the national bird of Guatemala as well as their monetary unit. The bird was known to be sacred to the ancients living in Central and South America, with its brilliantly colored tail feathers incorporated into the clothing of royalty.
The quetzal is amazingly colored, with metallic green and blue on most of its body. The breast is bright red, and the head is covered with gold-green feathers gathered in a tuft.
The male quetzal tail is bright green, stretching for almost a yard. The female bird is just as prettily colored, although somewhat dimly for protection.
Quetzals live high in the rainforests, preferably when there’s lots of fog for concealment. They live in holes punched into trees by their powerful beaks, or in holes dug into trees by squirrels. They blend well with the vegetation, which protects them from hunters.
They eat mostly fruits, preferring avocado. When their preferred food is scarce, they’ll eat lizards and insects.
Squirrels and birds of prey are the greatest enemies of the quetzal.
Due to the human development of their habitat, the bird is considered threatened.
If you remember the lyrics to the song Trogladyte, then you’ll know that we’re about to go back, way back, back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
In North America, they were overflown by a quetzalcoatlus, or a titanic bird-type being.
If a giraffe could contribute its neck, and an enormous bird contributed a long, pointy beak, then the resulting animal with its stunted body and legs would be the result.
The animals were packed with muscles, including their wings. They would hop a bit to take off, with a rare flapping of heavily muscled wings to keep them in the air.
On the ground, they were the size of a giraffe and weighed almost 300 pounds. They would swoop down and nab a dinosaur or small animal, consuming it in mid-air.
Although almost no fossils of the gigantic animal remain to tell us much, it is known that they mostly lived in what would become the southern United States, particularly around Texas.
Another name for a heifer, the term originated in the midlands of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This was how the early British pronounced the largely Scandinavian word.
It simply means heifer, or a young animal before she has had a calf. In modern usage, the word heifer has come to be used to describe a large woman or any bovine animal before it has had its young.
Also known as the wolverine, the quickhatch resembles a medium-sized dog but has more bear-like than dog-like physical characteristics. It features powerful muscles and a ferocity that scares humans.
Quickhatches are known to reside in the frozen reaches of northern Canada, Siberia, Alaska, and northern European countries like Denmark, Iceland, Greenland, and Norway, to name a few.
They scale rocky outcroppings, trees, and frozen tundra in their travels.
The quickhatch possesses a thick, oily kind of fur that makes it essentially waterproof and frost-proof.
Powerfully predatorial, quickhatches usually finish what other predators leave behind. However, they hunt their own prey, tearing apart the flesh with special teeth peculiar only to wolverines.
Bears and most particularly the gray wolf are the wolverine’s biggest enemies. Although powerful enough to throw down a wolf or bear, the bear won in most contests between bears and wolverines over prey.
Due to their natural habitat not being threatened, the quickhatch isn’t on the list of threatened animals.
Quick Step Robber Frog
Listed as endangered due to loss of habitat, this little guy is only found in Jamaica.
Not much is known about it, except that it lives on limestone heavy with fallen leaves in the wetlands. The quick step robber frog requires undisturbed forest habitats for its survival.
Kangaroos might not be cute and cuddly, but their distant cousins, Quokkas are.
Quokkas are only about 35 inches long and weigh about four pounds, much like an ordinary cat. They hop about on their hind legs. Their arms are shorter, and they have a pouch just like kangaroos have.
Quokkas can only be found on the western tip of Australia and its nearby islands such as Bald Island. They live in dense groups in the underbrush near a water source.
They sleep during the day and hunt at night. They eat leaves and grass with some bark and can go a while without food and water.
These little guys are friendly with happy faces. They’ll come right up to humans and enchant them with their friendliness.
The quokka is considered vulnerable due to the importation of foxes, dogs, and cats that prey upon them.
Found only in Australia and Papua New Guinea, these cat-like creatures are only found in small numbers in southwestern Australia and parts of New Guinea.
Once abundant, European settlement and encroaching development meant a decrease in the animals’ numbers.
Brown or black with white spots, a glaringly pink nose, and a pouch for their young, these animals feed on pretty much anything alive or dead. They will eat small animals like rabbits and rats, birds, lizards, and the occasional fruits or vegetables.
It sleeps in dens made almost anywhere from rocky outcroppings to termite tunnels to holes in trees.
The quoll is seriously outnumbered by predators such as wild and domesticated dogs and cats, foxes, pythons, eagles, owls, the poisonous cane toad, and humans.
Another serious threat to their longevity is the bush fires that rage across their natural habitats.
They are listed as endangered.
Conclusion: Animals that Start with Q
So many animals that start with Q, you’re bound to learn something new!
As it turns out, there’s a lot of different animals that start with the letter Q (you probably had no idea). Some of them you could find at the zoo, others not so easily. See how many you already knew!
And that brings us to the end of our article! Thanks for reading (or skimming, I know you’re busy people!)
We hope you enjoyed it and even learned a thing or two about these quirky animals.
We have done this same exercise for all 26 letters of the alphabet. So if you have any suggestions on categories or animals that start with a certain letter, please let us know and we’ll make sure to add them to our blog posts in this series.